By Jim Cullen
''The American Dream'' is without doubt one of the so much common and resonant words in our nationwide lexicon, so prevalent that we seldom pause to invite its foundation, its background, or what it truly skill. during this attention-grabbing brief background, Jim Cullen explores the which means of the yank Dream, or relatively the different American desires that experience either mirrored and formed American identification from the Pilgrims to the current. Cullen starts by noting that the USA, in contrast to so much different international locations, defines itself now not at the proof of blood, faith, language, geography, or shared heritage, yet on a suite of beliefs expressed within the announcement of Independence and consolidated within the structure. on the center of those beliefs lies the ambiguous yet galvanizing thought of the yankee Dream, an idea that for larger and worse has confirmed to be amazingly elastic and sturdy for centuries and throughout racial, type, and different demographic strains. Cullen then strains a sequence of overlapping American goals: the hunt for of non secular freedom that introduced the Pilgrims to the ''New World''; the political freedom promised within the statement; the dream of upward mobility, embodied so much absolutely within the determine of Abraham Lincoln; the dream of domestic possession, from home to suburb; the intensely idealistic-and mostly unrealized-dream of equality articulated such a lot vividly by way of Martin Luther King, Jr. The model of the yankee Dream that dominates our personal time-what Cullen calls ''the Dream of the Coast''-is one in all own achievement, of popularity and fortune all of the extra fascinating if completed with no visible attempt, which reveals its so much insidious expression within the tradition of Hollywood. For a person trying to comprehend a transferring yet vital notion in American historical past, the yank Dream is an interpretive travel de force. Read more...